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Around Campus: Volume 6

NJDS Honors Fauchard Dental Society

The New Jersey Dental School presented the Fauchard Dental Society of N.J. with an award for "distinguished service to the dental profession" at the group's annual President's Dinner last fall.

Since 1980, the society has enrolled dental students to full membership and provided them with mentorship for the knowledge of and the experience in organized dentistry. DAA President Dr. Peter DeSciscio ('85) presented the award to outgoing president Dr. Renee Arace and the society's new president, Dr. Carmine LoMonaco ('64), a faculty member at NJDS for 35 years.

A board-qualified endodontist, Dr. LoMonaco is also vice president of the New Jersey Dental Association and a past president of the Essex County Dental Society. He is a professor of endodontics at NJDS, where he teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Dr. LoMonaco is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists, as well as a member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon.

In addition to welcoming Dr. LoMonaco as its president, the Fauchard Society also presented four NJDS students with leadership certificates for their service as student representatives: Ms. Christina Carter ('00); Ms. Heather Messing ('01); Ms. Christina Mazzone ('02); and Mr. Brian Wright ('03).


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Greater New York

The Alumni Association held its annual reception during the Greater New York Dental Meeting on December 1, 1999, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Broadway.

Due to the ever increasing attendance at this beautifully run affair, it was held in a much larger room this past year.

If you haven't attended in a while, consider it in the future. It's a great way to meet old classmates and mingle with administrators and faculty in a relaxed atmosphere.


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One Degree, Many Paths: Students Ponder
What's Next

by Sheila Smith Noonan

With their own careers on the horizon, senior New Jersey Dental School students feasted on the experiences of dentists whose interests and abilities have taken them beyond the path of private practice.

It was all part of the "New Horizons in Dentistry" program, now in its second year. The series of six lunch-hour sessions featured distinguished New Jersey dentists working in such diverse areas as politics and insurance. This year's guest lecturers included Dr. Michael Barnett, Warner-Lambert Co.; Dr. Richard Curro, Block Drug; Dr. Harmon Katz, Mid-Jersey Endodontics and president of the American Endodontic Society; Dr. Henry Finger, president of the N.J. State Board of Dentistry and ADA Trustee-District IV; Dr. Gerald Sydell, chairman of the board of Delta Dental Plan of New Jersey; and Assemblyman Dr. Michael J. Arnone.

Each speaker in the series, which was underwritten by the Colgate-Palmolive Company, emphasized that a D.M.D. degree can be a license to explore limitless opportunities.

The state house, for example, is within reach for dentists, said Dr. Arnone, a New Jersey assemblyman since 1989. "People feel good about dentists and trust them with their dental care," he notes. "That may have contributed to people trusting me with their vote."

Dr. Arnone, a Republican and the former mayor of Red Bank, N.J., believes dentistry and politics can be a smart combination. Rather than complain about managed care, rising costs, reduced fees, and politicians' decisions, get involved in the process, he reasons. "We should be concerned not only about our patients' oral health, but with the health of our communities in general terms," says Dr. Arnone. "When dentists enter politics, it's good for dentistry and their towns."

Dr. Finger believes young dentists need to become involved in organized dentistry, the education of dental students, and the regulatory realm. He's been involved in all three­as well as civic activities and alumni service­and found fulfillment along the way. "It's true that these activities take time away from the office and the family, " he says. "However, for 35 years, these have brought me a great amount of satisfaction."

As for his involvement with the state dental board, Dr. Finger takes a pro-active approach. "We should be policing our own profession," he says. "If dentists don't, than others will."

There are many career opportunities for dentists that students may not have considered, says Dr. Barnett. He developed an interest in research as a dental student and then took a circuitous route to his current position as senior director of dental affairs at Warner-Lambert. Military service, two post-doctoral fellowships, academic posts, and a hospital department chairmanship were steps that led him to the pharmaceutical company in 1987.

Dr. Barnett, a visiting faculty member at NJDS, also advises students to consider the opportunities that participation in professional groups can bring. "There can be much satisfaction in the governing of professional organizations and many opportunities for leadership," says Dr. Barnett, formerly a member-at-large of the board of directors of the American Association for Dental Research. Currently, he serves on the boards of directors of the ADA Health Foundation and The Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

For Dr. Sydell, an insurance career was a natural extension of his commitment to public health. "In 1966 I opened a private practice in Cranford and soon became a school dentist. I was alarmed by the amount of caries I saw in those children, and even more disturbed to learn that fewer than 50 percent of Americans received routine dental care," he says. As dental insurance became a more common component of employee benefit packages, he read the charter of the Dental Service Corporation­the predecessor to Delta Dental­and thought, "This company has a commitment to serve people in this state." Over time, Dr. Sydell's involvement in Delta Dental grew, and today he's a de facto liaison between organized dentistry and the insurance industry.

Dr. Curro, vice president/director of corporate clinical and medical affairs at Block Drug, maintains that whatever road the students choose, what matters most is the integrity and ethics that they adhere to. "These define the moral character that enables dentists to interact with patients, and they remain constant. What changes is the dentist's personal message and measure of success," says Dr. Curro. "Dentists should also be continuing their education to accept new technologies that alter the treatment paradigms above and beyond what they learned in dental school."

"The value of New Horizons may not be fully realized for several years, until students who've attended the program venture out to pursue interests 'outside the box' of traditional dentistry," says Dr. Arnold H. Rosenheck, assistant dean of Hospital Affairs and Institutional Development.



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Student's Notebook...

Many noteworthy events have been taking place at New Jersey Dental School. As president of the Student Government Association, I would like to share some of these activities with the alumni.

The school's student organizations have had many reasons to celebrate:

  • The NJDS Chapter of the Student National Dental Association won the Scrapbook of the Year award at the organization's conference earlier this year.
  • At an American Student Dental Association conference, the newsletter Centric Relations was awarded best nameplate and design.
  • David Caggiano ('01) was the ASDA's Region II Delegate of the Year and the National Delegate of the Year.

Speaking of award winners, the student winner of the Michael Balbo Award for research, Anup Munduli ('01), attended the ADA conference in Hawaii. His topic was "Tyrasine Sulfation of Statherin by Human Saliva" under the guidance of Dr. Kasinathan. Anup presented this research in Hawaii, at the Dental Conference in Atlantic City, and at the Greater New York Dental Meeting.

Back at school, the 3rd Annual Family Day was held in November for first-year students and their families. Among the highlights was a short video in which Mr. Bean visited the dentist. The attendees found the satire quite humorous. Dr. Fotinos Panagakos ('92) explained the new VSTi computer system, which incorporates the entire dental curriculum on computer. Twelve students each from the first and second year classes are participating in a pilot for the system, in which half received all textbooks required for their courses and the other half are using computers containing the same information as the books. After lunch, the families were taken to various stations, including pre-clinic, clinic, intraoral photography, gross anatomy, and orthodontics.

This spring, the Class of '01 will be running the Hindsight Program, a mentoring program designed to provide second-year students with practical hints to survive clinic. As you may recall, adjusting to this new environment can be somewhat stressful. All of a sudden there are live patients sitting in your dental chair (a big change from the manikin heads in pre-clinic, who did not have much to say about the procedures done). Every student receives a manual that explains the nuts and bolts of clinic, from how to fill out a competency form to each discipline's requirements. Next spring, it will be the Class of '02's turn to continue the program and pass on their insight.

Our busy year is drawing to a close, and some of us will soon be joining you as alumni. We appreciate your continuing support of the school and the students.


Denise Fleischmann ('00)

Student Government Association President



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An Eventful Fete

Dr. Satish C. Mullick ('76) and other Asian Indians organized the first Dushara Festival in New Jersey. The festival, which in the Hindu religion celebrates the triumph of good over evil, drew about 10,000 people to the East Brunswick fairgrounds last October.For his efforts, Dr. Mullick was recognized by Governor Christie Todd Whitman for community service. The governor, her husband, and other dignitaries, including mayors and members of Congress, attended the event, which showcased the Asian Indian culture. Traditional dances and food, crafts, and children's rides were all part of the day, which was capped off by fireworks. A highlight, says Dr. Mullick, was the burning of an effigy of the evil king Ravana.

"There has been a Festival of Dushara in Long Island for several years, but we felt there was sufficient interest to have one of our own in New Jersey," says Dr. Mullick, who has a private practice in Springfield, N.J. "By doing so, Asian Indians in the state have the opportunity to celebrate their culture and to share it with all people."

Plans are under way for the Second Annual Dushara Festival, to be held next fall. With the popularity of the first festival, says Dr. Mullick, a professor of Prosthodontics and Biomaterials at NJDS, it's likely they will be looking for a larger venue.


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